'Forget it, I'm already here... I just have to do as Leader Monchi told me and teach these poor Alchemists what potioneering truly is!'
Hawkins helplessly shook his head, hoping that he wouldn't waste too much time here.
"I came here today because I heard that the Gilded Rose had some accomplishments in the potioneering field. The Hope Potion that has been released some time ago has been called the most mystical potion of the past ten years in Thousand Sails City... Haha..."
Hawkins stopped there, his chuckle full of clear disdain as he made fun of his counterpart.
"Great Alchemist Hawkins, how come you have time to visit the Gilded Rose today?" Faleau knew that he had no other choice but to step up and respond.
Honestly, if it had been before, Faleau would definitely have turned around without a word upon being confronted by Hawkins. What a joke, with his status as a 9th Rank Mage and Alchemist, how could he oppose someone who was a Great Mage and a Great Alchemist? Wasn't that asking for trouble?
In fact, during his time at the Black Horn Auction House, Faleau had always done so.
There wasn't anyone in the Black Horn Auction House that was better than Faleau at reading body language and adapting to the situation.
He worked there for many years and the only time he made a mistake that got him in trouble was when he met Lin Yun.
But Faleau had no plan to retreat today.
"Who are you?" Hawkins asked.
"I am Faleau, the Gilded Rose's Alchemist. I listened to your lessons a few times at Oakland."
"Oh, Faleau. I'm sorry, I'm getting older and my memory is playing tricks on me," Hawkins said, smiling contemptuously.
Hawkins was only in his forties and was far from losing his memories due to old age. He only said this because he didn't feel like speaking to a mere Alchemist. He was an esteemed Great Alchemist, so wouldn't it be a loss of reputation if people learnt that he met an acquaintance in such a place that was a mere Alchemist?
Saying that his memory was playing tricks actually meant, 'Sorry, I don't know you, don't act familiar with me!'
Unfortunately, Faleau was far less tactful than Hawkins imagined.
After being ridiculed by Hawkins, Faleau acted as if he hadn't heard him and revealed an extremely passionate smile.
"I really didn't expect to come across Great Alchemist Hawkins in Thousand Sails City. Oh, right, I heard you mention an exchange of skill with the Gilded Rose? That's very good, Great Alchemist Hawkins, I've always kept in mind your profound knowledge after your classes in Oakland. If you have time, please give me some pointers."
"This... Faleau, I'm very busy right now," Hawkins muttered while showing obvious displeasure. 'Fuck, did you not hear me saying I couldn't recognize you? Was my meaning not clear enough? I don't know you, okay?'
"That's strange, Great Alchemist Hawkins, didn't you come to the Gilded Rose for an exchange of skills?"
"Yes? What about it?"
"Well, in my introduction, I did say that I was an Alchemist of the Gilded Rose..."
"I..." Hawkins almost choked. At this time he really felt like pulling Faleau's ear and asking if he was dumb enough to not understand what he meant by exchange of skills. 'I came here to smash your reputation. You didn't expect the great me to come from the Black Tower to give some pointers to the Gilded Rose's inept Alchemists? I just received a lot of precious materials from Leader Monchi to cause trouble down here.'
'Calm down, calm down...'
Hawkins took a deep breath and kept telling himself to keep his composure.
He was an esteemed Great Alchemist, how could he lose his manners in front of an Alchemist and a bunch of onlookers? That would bring shame to the Black Tower.
'Forget it, isn't it just giving some pointers? What kind of knowledge could an Alchemist in his twenty have access to? I could easily do it even if ten of him participated.'
After convincing himself of this, Hawkins thought about how to proceed.
'Okay, let's just go with pointers, I'll use this opportunity to show everyone how poor the level of the Gilded Rose's alchemists is. If they still dare to talk about compounding the most mystical potion of the decade after that...'
"Okay, Faleau, ask your question, I am in a hurry."
"Thank you, Great Alchemist Hawkins." Faleau hurriedly fished out a paper from his pocket and explained, "You see, Great Alchemist Hawkins, this formula only lacks one key piece of data. I computed it for a few months, but there has been no result. Can you help?"
"Sure, let me see..." Hawkins carelessly took the paper and checked the formula written on it.
One minute later, Hawkins was faintly frowning.
Ten minutes later, Hawkins' expression became grave.
Thirty minutes later, Hawkins finally pushed away the crowd to look for a table, before taking a quill and starting to jot down some computations.
One hour later, his forehead was soaked in sweat.
Two hours later...
Two hours later, it was Faleau's turn to become impatient!
"Hmm, Great Alchemist Hawkins, have you computed the result yet?"
"Hold on..." Hawkins wiped some sweat from his forehead and quickly wrote more calculations on a sheet of paper. One piece of paper wasn't enough, so there were now several dozens of sheets spread before him, filled with all kinds of characters and figures.
But the more he calculated, the more Hawkins felt powerless. From where did that damn Faleau get such a broken formula? It was like a maze. Regardless of how hard he tried to solve it, it felt as if he was getting lost in that maze.
"Great Alchemist Hawkins, it is already evening, do you want to eat dinner?"
"Snap." The quill in Hawkins' hand broke.
"Hmm... Go get a new quill for Great Alchemist Hawkins. Bring a blanket too, he might be spending the night here."
"Understood, Alchemist Faleau." There was no need to ask. Hauss knew that Faleau was asking him. He quickly changed Hawkins' quill. But when he fetched the blanket, he noticed that the Great Alchemist was glaring at him in anger. He didn't know whether or not he should hand it over.
"Don't worry, Great Alchemist Hawkins, there is no need to hurry, you should take your time to make sure you do it properly."
Faleau's expression looked sincere, but he was already inwardly laughing. 'What a lousy Great Alchemist, he really thought that he was omnipotent and dared to come to the Gilded Rose for an exchange of skills. Did you even check who this building belongs to? Do you understand now? A formula that Great Mage Merlin casually gave me to practice can easily stump you.'
Hawkins' quill was filling page after page. Besides Faleau occasionally asking a few concerned questions, there was actually no sound in the entire lobby as all the remaining onlookers were curiously wondering what kind of formula would take a Great Alchemist like Hawkins a whole afternoon.
Only Faleau knew the real reason.
This formula had been given to him by Great Mage Merlin some days ago. It was to be used as daily practice. Faleau remembered Great Mage Merlin saying that the day he was able to complete the calculations for the formula would be the day he advanced to become a Master Alchemist.